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May 5, 2000 GC-024

Four honored for distinguished service to world Methodism

CLEVELAND (UMNS) – Seat of Honor Awards for distinguished service to world Methodism were presented to four United Methodists on May 5.

The awards were presented by the World Methodist Council’s North America Section during a luncheon meeting held in conjunction the United Methodist General Conference. Recipients are: Alice W. Lockmiller, Fort Myers, Fla.; the Rev. H. Eddie Fox, Nashville, Tenn.; Bonnie Jones Gehweiler, Lake Junaluska, N.C.; and Bishop Neil L. Irons, Harrisburg, Pa.

Lockmiller was cited for her work in marking and restoring historic Methodist sites and for her concern for world peace and reconciliation. She has underwritten, in perpetuity, the cost of the World Methodist Council’s annual Peace Award.

Fox was cited for his evangelistic work on behalf of world Methodism. He leads a team of 16 regional secretaries who seek to provide indigenous expressions of evangelism around the world.

Gehweiler was recognized for "remarkable courage in seeing, living with and making more widely known concern for the suffering of Palestinian Christians in the Holy Land."

Irons, president of the council’s North American Section, was cited for providing "support, insight, wisdom and compassion to the global endeavor of the Christian Church in our time."

Twenty-five United Methodists have received the Seat of Honor awards since they were inaugurated during the church’s 1970 General Conference. The recipients include Frances M. Alguire, New Buffalo, Mich., chairperson of the World Methodist Council. Honorees are selected by secret ballots cast by past award winners. Each honoree receives a citation and parchment and a hand-crafted, 18th century Georgian corner chair similar to those crafted during the time of Methodism’s founder, John Wesley.

Participants at the luncheon received a glimpse of plans for the 18th World Methodist Conference to be held in Brighton, England, July 25-31, 2001.

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--Thomas S. McAnally

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